Uber planning to launch IPO in April

Uber in talks with investors to sell stake of its autonomous car unit

Uber in talks with investors to sell stake of its autonomous car unit

This would mean that SoftBank, which already owns 14 percent of Uber by way of venture capitalism over the years, would take on a minority stake along with an unnamed carmaker in Uber's self-driving unit.

Uber is planning to file its S-1 prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission in April and begin its investor roadshow shortly thereafter, Reuters said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank's Vision Fund and Toyota Motor are part of a consortium of investors in talks to invest $US1 billion in Uber's self-driving vehicle unit, Reuters has reported.

Under the leadership of founder Travis Kalanick, Uber was reluctant to go public because of the high underwriting costs and financial scrutiny involved in the process.

Uber will actually get beaten to an IPO by its smaller rival, Lyft, which is expected to complete its IPO in the coming weeks.

Uber has recently been valued at United States dollars 76 billion in the private market and is seeking a valuation as high as USD 120 billion. Lyft, meanwhile, is looking for a market valuation between $20 billion and $25 billion after being valued at $15 billion in its most recent private funding.

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The two companies are positioned to kick off a string of hotly anticipated public debuts from highly valued tech companies, energizing the IPO market after a quiet start to the year. But its autonomous unit, formed in 2014, loses between $100 million and $200 million each quarter.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, investors would purchase from a pool of Uber stock specifically earmarked for the self-driving technologies unit.

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber, has previously said a culture change is a work in progress.

It operates in more than 70 countries and includes ride-hailing, bike and scooter rentals, freight hauling, food delivery and a self-driving auto division.

Uber's revenue past year was $11.3 billion, while its gross bookings from rides were $50 billion. Taking on large investors that will influence a key business is an unusual move for a company so close to an IPO.

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